Guernsey FC 5, Windsor 2 THE game that almost had everything.
Highlights courtesy of GFCTV in partnership with Kings Life
Guernsey FC 5, Windsor 2
THE game that almost had everything.
The Green Lions concede two goals inside 90 seconds, one to a shot from the halfway line, but, with a wonderful combination of skill, character and temperament, hit back to lead 3-2 inside 25 minutes and with some delightful football against 10 tiring men, put a gallant Windsor to bed with two late crackers.
No wonder the Garenne Stand was buzzing like never or seldom seen before at the final whistle.
They had seen their heroes handicap themselves in extraordinary fashion, seven superb goals – not one of them was ordinary – and the Green Lions stay in the thick of the title race.
But back to the start.
The game is just 30 seconds old as Dave Rihoy, otherwise excellent and fully deserving of his man-of-the-match award, loses the ball up in the Windsor half, big centre-back Dan Hicks storms forward as if he is Franz Beckenbauer and, having run 40 yards unchallenged, slips in striker Ben Harris.
The 21-year-old hot-shot takes one touch and smacks a shot underneath the diving body of Chris Tardif: 1-0.
In the crowd a wag shouts ‘can we start again’, a plea made even more appropriate when inside another minute Harris wins the ball on the touchline 50 yards out and having spotted Tardif off his line, smacks a Beckham-esque strike that sails above the desperately retreating keeper and falls into the net just underneath the crossbar.
To say GFC and their fans are stunned is somewhat of an understatement.
Suddenly, this becomes a very good game to win, or even draw.
But Tony Vance’s men are made of the right stuff and quickly set about mending the damage.
Rihoy, already at his impish best, flashes a header wide and Guernsey win a succession of corners, all to no avail.
Windsor, meanwhile, raise more eyebrows when defender Chris Ellis takes a throw in on halfway and launches it fully 45 yards, a stadium record surely.
Twenty minutes is almost up as Robert Lazarczuk swings over a free-kick from the left touchline and Tardif desperately claws the ball away when momentarily it seems destined for the far corner.
Inside a minute, though, GFC are back in the game.
Rihoy plays a neat one-two on the edge of the area with Ross Allen and, after rounding keeper Rob Bullivant, smashes the ball into an empty net from the acutest of angles – a classy finish.
Four minutes later GFC are level, although inbetween Harris misses a great chance to complete his hat-trick as the home side again display frailties at the back.
In the next move of the game GFC move effortlessly forward and, as Ollie McKenzie tries to run onto Glyn Dyer’s superb diagonal ball, Windsor concede a corner.
Rihoy takes it short, McKenzie swings in a curling cross into the heart of the six-yard box and the magnificent Heaume leaps to glance a header home.
The stand rocks in response and only a minute later it is done all over again.
Allen is hauled down by Hicks as the striker races free 40 yards from goal and referee Corin Readette instantly pulls out his red card to dismiss the impressive No. 5.
To make matters worse for the Stags, Dyer beautifully clips the free-kick over the defensive wall and out of reach of a diving Bullivant.
‘Are you Jersey in disguise’ is the gloating chant as Windsor heads are suddenly hung low.
With 65 minutes still to play, Windsor are now chasing green-and-white shadows as the Green Lions move into top gear and play some fantastic football with chances popping up on a frequent basis.
But it takes until the hour mark for the game to be finally put to bed and in what spectacular fashion.
Allen was bound to come to the scoring party at some stage and, after pulling Ellis one way, then the other, then back the other way, he pulls the trigger and a superb left-foot shot flies into the far corner – a breathtaking goal.
Shortly afterwards Matt Loaring is introduced for a late burn-up and, having fluffed one great chance, he completes the scoring in the fourth minute of stoppage time, racing away onto a superb pass and finishing beyond an unprotected Bullivant.
The Green Lions had many more chances, all of which went begging, while plucky Windsor kept going to the final whistle and left us with the unanswered question: what might have been had Hicks stayed on the park?
Most probably another GFC win, but not by three clear goals.